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Free Content Thin-layer agar for detection of resistance to rifampicin, ofloxacin and kanamycin in Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolates

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BACKGROUND: In low-income countries there is a great need for economical methods for testing the susceptibility of Mycobacterium tuberculosis to antibiotics.

OBJECTIVE: To evaluate the thin-layer agar (TLA) for rapid detection of resistance to rifampicin (RMP), ofloxacin (OFX) and kanamycin (KM) in M. tuberculosis clinical isolates and to determine the sensitivity, specificity and time to positivity compared to the gold standard method.

METHODS: One hundred and forty-seven clinical isolates of M. tuberculosis were studied. For the TLA method, a quadrant Petri plate containing 7H11 agar with RMP, OFX and KM was used. Results were compared to the Bactec MGIT960 for RMP and the proportion method for OFX and KM.

RESULTS: The sensitivity and specificity for RMP and OFX were 100% and for KM they were 100% and 98.7%, respectively. The use of a TLA quadrant plate enables the rapid detection of resistance to the three anti-tuberculosis drugs RMP, OFX and KM in a median of 10 days.

CONCLUSION: TLA was an accurate method for the detection of resistance in the three drugs studied. This faster method is simple to perform, providing an alternative method when more sophisticated techniques are not available in low-resource settings.
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Keywords: drug resistance; thin layer agar; tuberculosis

Document Type: Regular Paper

Affiliations: 1: Institute of Tropical Medicine, Mycobacteriology Unit, Antwerp, Belgium 2: Institute of Tropical Medicine, Mycobacteriology Unit, Antwerp, Belgium; and Laboratory of Mycobacteriology, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande, Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil 3: Médecins Sans Frontières, Paris, France

Publication date: October 1, 2009

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  • The International Journal of Tuberculosis and Lung Disease (IJTLD) is for clinical research and epidemiological studies on lung health, including articles on TB, TB-HIV and respiratory diseases such as COVID-19, asthma, COPD, child lung health and the hazards of tobacco and air pollution. Individuals and institutes can subscribe to the IJTLD online or in print – simply email us at [email protected] for details.

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